Of course, the year with the most weekend holidays (and Cinco de Mayo on a Tuesday) is 2020. Though holiday festivities will be limited this weekend, and should be limited, I am still looking forward to the 4th of July. We plan on laying low at home and enjoying some delicious, American eats like hot dogs and potato salad. While this summer has been a weird one so far, I am feeling grateful for the sunshine and delicious eats like this Tomato Ricotta Tart with Arugula.
I have come to the realization that I need to utilize premade puff pastry more. It is such a versatile base for pastries, sweet and savory. I recently purchased a box of it and was excited to utilize the sheets for delicious recipes. There was a small amount of ricotta leftover, after making a delicious stovetop lasagna, that I needed to use up. I decided that I wanted to make a savory tart. Before we get to the recipe let’s go over puff pastry.
Puff Pastry Do’s and Don’ts
- Do thaw your puff pastry completely before unfolding. Because the puff pastry sheets are folded within their packages, they need to be unfolded before use. If you try to unfold the puff pastry sheets too early, you run the risk of tearing or cracking your pastry which will ultimately affect the appearance of whatever it is you are making.
- Do not use your puff pastry straight from the freezer. As stated above, it needs time to thaw. This can be done in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter at room temperature for about 30 minutes. If you are thawing it at room temperature, make sure to keep an eye on it. You want to avoid the possibility of melted butter in the pastry if over-softened.
- Do work carefully with puff pastry. It is a delicate product to use, and has the tendency to break and crack. Cut it carefully.
- Do not roll puff pastry out on an unfloured surface. For this recipe and many others, you are required to roll out the pastry slightly. This needs to be done on a lightly floured surface to avoid sticking and breaking. Be careful not to overwork the puff when rolling, as you could disturb the rise of the overall product when baked if you put too much pressure on the rolling pin.
Tomato Ricotta Tart with Arugula
This tomato ricotta tart is very simple to make. It only calls for few ingredients and takes little time to put together. First, the recipe process begins with rolling out the thawed pastry into a larger rectangle, approximately 10 by 14-inches long. The next step is to mark a designated area for the “crust” which should be approximately 1-inch from the edge of the crust on all sides. To keep the center from puffing up to much, lightly mark (dot) the center of the pastry with a fork.
For the filling, the ricotta is mixed with red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. This flavored cheese is then spread evenly onto the center of the tart, making sure to stay within the marked lines. Next, sliced tomatoes should then be placed atop the ricotta layer, placed in a decorative manner and making sure that the tomatoes cover the entire area without overlapping. Lastly, you should sprinkle a little additional salt atop the tomato layer.
This tomato ricotta tart is then to be baked at 400 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is puffed and golden. In the mean time, the arugula is tossed with the olive oil and a little additional salt. Allow the tart to cool for a few minutes before spreading the arugula salad atop. Slice and serve immediately.
This tomato ricotta tart would make for a great appetizer, lunch, or dinner accompanied by a salad. It satisfies like a pizza, but holds the texture of a lovely pastry. I hope you enjoy this recipe on a nice summer evening with good company, and a refreshing beverage.
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Tomato Ricotta Tart with Arugula
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, carefully roll out the thawed sheet of puff pastry into a rectangle approximately 10 by 14 inches long. Transfer to the prepared sheet tray.
- With a paring knife, lightly mark a 1 inch border all the way around the pastry, being careful not to cut all the way through the pastry. Using a fork, prick the center (inside the border) with small marks to keep the pastry from puffing up during baking.
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, ¼ tsp salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and gralic powder. Spread the mixture on the interior (center) of the border, being careful to spread inside the marked lines. Lay the tomato slices over the ricotta so that tomatoes cover the rciotta but are not overlapping each other. Sprinkle with additional salt.
- Bake pastry for 20-25 minutes, or until crust has puffed and is golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- While pastry is cooling slightly, toss together the arugula, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Scatter the arugula over the top of the pastry. Cut into squares and serve immediately.